Hylife Foods Expansion Stimulates Local Economic Growth

15 August 2012, at 9:00am

CANADA - The Mayor of the Town of Neepawa says the expansion of the Hylife Foods pork processing plant is helping fuel a level of growth not seen in his lifetime.

Hylife Foods is ramping up its pork production after completing a series of upgrades to its Neepawa hog slaughtering plant.

The expansion, which allowed Hylife to add a second shift, was preceded by the construction of a new industrial wastewater treatment plant and included a new carcass cooler and receiving facility.

Neepawa Mayor Ken Waddell says anybody who wants a job in Neepawa pretty much can get one right now and not just in the hog plant.

Ken Waddell-Town of Neepawa:

There's, to my understanding, 275 new jobs this go around with the expansion and the going to a second shift and that will likely turn out to be a multiplier of about three times that or an additional three to one because usually the worker brings a wife and two children, not always of course but that's the average.

250 workers, that's probably going to mean 850 to a thousand new people in total so that's going to have a significant impact.

Of course the wives and children won't be coming until the workers have gotten settled, got their provincial nominee and started to apply for their provincial nominee status.

That's been the pattern for the last three years and then of course there's other people moving to town because there's more trades people required, more service personnel required in all fields and everything is growing here right now at a pace we haven't seen probably in my lifetime.

Waddell notes the town has seen an expansion of retail sales volumes, housing is expanding and will continue to expand, the banks have added new staff and a decision on expanding the town's medical clinic is close. He concedes managing the growth is a little like having a tiger by the tail and that has required a few adjustments on the part of the town's council.

For farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.